TALLAHASSEE — For Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus Brandon Mitchell, dancing is reminiscent to taking the final plunge on a roller coaster. Once the music starts, the rush of adrenaline seizes his body and he leaves his heart on the dance floor.
“When I dance, I’m telling the audience what’s going on in my mind,” said Mitchell. “It feels like a rush like when you are going on a ride. It’s like ‘Aagghh!’ I’m at my happiest point when I’m on the stage.”
Mitchell was performing on a national stage competing against 19 other contestants on the ninth season of the Fox reality series, So You Think You Can Dance, as the South Florida Times went to press July 11.
After the weekly airing at 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, So You Think You Can Dance viewers have the opportunity to vote for their favorite dancers via telephone, text and online.
Next week, on July 18, the three guys and three girls with the lowest number of votes will be revealed and the judges will decide which two dancers will be eliminated.
In the end, the best male and female dancer will be crowned the season nine champs.
Mitchell, whose dance specialty for the competition is stepping, was selected as one of the top 20 following a nationwide search and weeks of auditions.
“I love entertaining people and making them happy,” said Mitchell, a member of the Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. “You never know how you can make someone’s day. I feel like this is my purpose — to be out here and to touch people’s lives.”
Mitchell earned his bachelor’s degree in computer information systems in 2009.
“FAMU taught me that it’s really not about what you are doing, but how you are doing it, the legacy that you leave and the impact that you make on the community,” said the former member of the FAMU Strikers. “Students should know not to take anything for granted at FAMU. Everything you get from there, you will take in your field.”
The Kansas City, Kan., native said he discovered his potential in the art form in the sixth grade and is humbled to have gone from where he started to where he is today. He cited his father for blessing him with his dancing ability, and praised his mother for the way she raised the family.
Mitchell, who has worked with singers Ciara, Kelly Rowland, Keyshia Cole and Jennifer Lopez, will appear in the upcoming movie, Step Up Revolution.
Photo: Brandon Mitchell